Dr. Culham's lab is quite full at the moment and it is unlikely that she will take any new graduate student trainees in 2017-18.
At the moment, funds for postdoctoral salaries are limited. Candidates who are eligible to apply for external funding are welcome to contact Jody by e-mail at jculham<at>uwo.ca to discuss possibilities.
Students interested in graduate school should consider applying to either the Psychology Graduate Program (deadline ~January for September admission) or the Neuroscience Program (applications accepted throughout the year, though preferred in ~January for September admission).
Unfortunately, there is very limited funding for international graduate students (e.g., the Department of Psychology may only offer full tuition coverage for 2-3 new international students for 50+ professors). This does not preclude international students from applying (particularly if they have a scholarship); however, students may want to take these limitations into consideration. I prefer to take students who apply for a Master’s and intend to proceed to a PhD rather than students interested in a terminal Master’s or students who have done a Master’s degree in another lab.
Both Psychology and Neuroscience require a grade of at least 78% or B+ in the final two years of undergraduate studies. An Honours degree (or equivalent) is required for the Neuroscience program and highly recommended for Psychology. Psychology requires that applicants submit scores from the general Graduate Record Exam (although this policy may be up for reconsideration by the department); Neuroscience does not require GREs. Neuroscience students must take a full-year survey course (Neuroscience 9500) and a strong science background is recommended (second-year or higher level biological or natural sciences). I would encourage students who have not taken many science courses to apply to Psychology instead of or in addition to Neuroscience. Psychology Master’s students must take a full-year graduate statistics course (Typically Psychology 9041 and 9040 for students interested in cognitive neuroscience). While not officially required by the Neuroscience program, these courses are also strongly recommended for Neuroscience students in my lab. Given the increasing reliance on more computational data analyses, especially for neuroimaging, preference will be given to students with skills in computer programming (e.g., Matlab or Python) or a willingness to learn.
There may be opportunities to participate in a joint training program between Western (and Queen's and York) and two German Universities in Marburg (Philipps University Marburg) and Giessen (Justis Liebig University). The training program would include an opportunity to spend several months in a German lab working on a collaborative project. Planned projects include developmental studies of perception and action with Prof. Gudrun Schwarzer, event-related potential (ERP) studies of action space with Prof. Anna Schubö, and fMRI studies of actions and gestures with Prof. Tilo Kircher. Students who are interested in working in my lab and participating in this program should e-mail me directly and convey their interest.
NSERC Summer Students
My lab has a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) grant and can sponsor summer students who are eligible for the NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA). The USRA pays students (in addition to top-ups from the advisor's grant) to work on a research project for four months (May-Aug.). Good grades are essential to have a chance at receiving one of these. NSERC requires at least a B average, but in practice, a high A average is more likely to make the cut. In other words, successful candidates typically have grades in the high 80s or better. Applying for an NSERC USRA requires working with a potential advisor to write an application that includes a proposed research project. For Psychology professors at Western, these applications must be submitted to the Department of Psychology in January to hold an award the following summer.
We do not anticipate any openings for full-time research assistants in the near future.
Our lab will consider taking students who are interested in conducting behavioral experiments or possibly in working on a subcomponent of a neuroimaging project.
Part-time Undergraduate Assistants
We often have undergraduate assistants in the lab through the Western Work Study Program or as volunteers. Students will typically work with one or more graduate students or postdoctoral fellows to assist with research projects.
I get many requests from undergraduates who are interested in working in the lab -- far more than I can accept. Often the requests are not accompanied by much information by which to evaluate potential candidates. I am most likely to accept students who have both a promising background (grades above ~85%, evidence of ambition, conscientiousness, relevant coursework -- psych, stats, neuroscience, perception, cognition) and a strong interest in Psychology or Neuroscience. The following information would be helpful for your application which can be sent by e-mail to Jody Culham at jculham<at>uwo.ca:
- a resume
- a recent transcript (unofficial okay) indicating courses taken and grades
- any letters of reference or names of professors (esp. in Psychology), teaching assistants, or previous employers who may be able to evaluate your academic ability, work habits and/or personality
- information about your level of experience with computers (PC, Mac or Unix) and software (e.g., MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel)
- an indication of why you are interested in joining the lab and how it fits in to your academic or career goals
- an indication of how many hours you can commit (you must be willing to regularly commit at least two hours per week) without jeopardizing your coursework
- an indication of whether you are eligible for the Work Study program (in which case, you can get paid for a certain number of hours per term). See the Western Work Study Program information page for eligibility criteria
Jessica Grahn has an excellent summary of what professors look for in students and volunteers
Brian Scholl has some good advice for undergrads seeking research experience